Incumbent Rachelle Marcus and attorney Judy Manouchehri are in the lead for the two open seats on the Beverly Hills Unified School District (BHUSD) Board of Education. At press time, Marcus leads with 32.52% of the vote, and Manouchehri, about 338 votes behind Marcus, with 29.35%. Candidate Michal Amir-Salkin received 18.14%, Farrah Dodes received 15.84%, and Janessa LaVoice with 4.15% of the vote.
Both Manouchehri and Marcus emerged as front-runners soon after the polls closed on Nov. 8. At their respective election night parties, Marcus welcomed supporters into her home on North Elm Drive, and Manouchehri at her mother’s house on North Alden Drive.
Marcus, whose term is set to expire in December of this year, was first elected to the board in 2018. A parent of BHUSD graduates and a former teacher, Marcus brings over 50 years of experience as an educator in the district with her. Fellow board members Noah Margo and Board President Mary Wells, city officials, friends and family celebrated her projected victory.
“I am thrilled to know that the community has given me a vote of confidence to continue as a trustee on the board,” Marcus told the Courier. “I look forward to collaborating with the other board members to ensure the successful education of each and every student. Another priority is the construction program and its completion as scheduled. There were many qualified candidates for the two seats, and I want to thank them for running. Congratulations to Judy Manouchehri for being elected to the board.”
A parent to three students in the district, Manouchehri herself also graduated from Horace Mann Elementary School and then Beverly Hills High School. Dozens of friends, family members, and neighbors excitedly gathered around the TV in Manouchehri’s mother’s living room to watch early returns come in.
“This campaign really demonstrates the heart and the soul of this city, this district, and our families that are in the district,” Manouchehri told the Courier. “I would say this has been a campaign of synergy, where we each care so much that it inspires us all to work harder, to do more, and to give more. To me, it really exemplifies the best of us. It’s about loving BHUSD and wanting more for BHUSD at the same time.”
Manouchehri accepted congratulatory hugs from Board President Mary Wells, Councilmember Sharona Nazarian, and several city commission and committee chairs.
“For me, it’s been such an amazing journey,” Manouchehri said. “I feel like this has been a culmination of who I’ve been since I was a little kid growing up in Beverly Hills up until this moment.”